Why One Year Of Stored Food May Not Be Enough.

Discussion in 'The Apocalypse' started by LastOutlaw, Jun 4, 2019.

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  1. LastOutlaw

    LastOutlaw Master Survivalist
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    When reading up on how much food to store there are many amounts that usually are posted. Three months is one amount that is mentioned often as an amount needed to store for your family or self, One year as well is a usual number. I have posted this before a long time ago but can not remember where or when so I'll post it again here for all to consider.

    Long ago when I was working with the failed MAG we planted a garden. We felt it was a good idea to start the gardens and have them running as well as get an idea of how much food it would produce. It also helped sort out some of the members who couldn't or wouldn't work in the heat of a summer garden. We all were in for a surprise! The garden that we all worked so hard on was decimated by grasshoppers that summer. Hundreds and hundreds of grasshoppers ate pretty much everything. Also tomato worms. This issue got me to thinking and researching.

    Did you know that "Native Americans" called the springtime "the starving time"? That is because by spring a lot of the time their stored food from the year before was consumed. They survived the harsh winter, the plants were all green and beautiful, the temperatures are warming but are not yet producing food.

    So lets say SHTF in the late winter or early spring. One would think we are golden if we were sitting on a year's supply of stored food and a container of heirloom seeds right? Wrong.

    The weather is warming, so you take your stored seeds and plant them. They begin to sprout as you eat on your stored food. There are no fresh berries yet to eat because they are also just sprouting. You really aren't concerned as you have a whole year's worth of food. You watch your garden sprout and you have a lot of food coming up as you eat on the stored food. Things look good. But what happens if later in the summer the bugs get into your garden or there is a drought and your food plot is decimated?

    Now you continue eating your stored one year's supply of food that you started on in late winter or very early springtime. Fall rolls in and then winter. You are still well fed and everyone is doing ok working off of the one years supply of stored food.

    But here comes spring again, things are greening up, the weather is warming and the stored food is now gone. Consumed. Welcome to the starving time. No garden producing food and no more stored food. You also may have no seeds to plant either as you planted all of them the year before and they didn't produce more. Now those who hunt well may have stored away some meat or those who know edible plants in the wild may do ok but those who planned to survive on their food storage alone are in a jam.

    That one year's worth of food that you proudly stored may not be enough. That one single container of heirloom seeds may not be enough either. Don't stop storing just because you reached the number you strived and worked toward. Keep storing.
     
  2. LastOutlaw

    LastOutlaw Master Survivalist
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  3. elkhound

    elkhound Expert Member
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    7 years is my goal.
     
  4. elkhound

    elkhound Expert Member
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    offsetting spring time starvation.

    asparagus beds,chickens start laying eggs in spring as hours get longer,fall plant bloomsdale longstanding spinach. it can withstand -15f winter lows.it will look ratty and all leaves gone and just a bit of pale stalk poking up but as soon as it warms the slightest it will put on leaves.only thing to watch as it warms it wants to go to bolt and set seed.keep it clipped back to keep harvest as long as you can.theres a few mushrooms in spring like morels and pheasant back too.

    raised beds with covers over them catching the sun on an angle.radishes,lettuce and spring kale.this kale is fastest from seed to harvest i have grown.

    https://www.southernstates.com/catalog/product/p-8451-spring-kale?category=lawn-garden+vegetable-seed

    other things are watercress...but be careful of poison look alike in certain areas.

    another items to get an even greater jump is to have a small solar panel on chicken coop with a battery.anything from a car battery to panasonic enneloop batteries to power a few LED lights to trick chickens into laying sooner. also having an insulated chicken house.lights and battery adjusted to your needs.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2019
  5. Sourdough

    Sourdough "ALASKAN"
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    What has always bewildered me, is why people put so much effort into this. Even more bewildering is the knowing, it will be taken from you. When there are so many place you can get abundant food with no work. And no risk.
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2019
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  6. TexDanm

    TexDanm Shadow Dancer
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    A year gives you time to put in a crop and reach your first harvest. If you did it right you will reap more than enough to survave until your next harvest. Even if you have 10 years worth of food stored what are you going to do when it is used up or is taken from you in some way? I don't think that you will be able to just sit in a hole and hide for much more than a year. Survival needs to be more than just eating and breathing for another day. If you are well adapted to your environment and work a little bit to provide for the futuer you don't need years and years of stored foods to live comfortably. The Native Americans did quite well until they were gathered up and forced onto poor lands that couldn't support their numbers.
     
  7. TMT Tactical

    TMT Tactical The Great Lizard !
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    Mountain men and their families maybe be able to survive with minimal work but a civilization cannot. Communities do not grow withing mountain man parameters. Hunting and foraging require relocations and that is counter to villages, towns or city development. Development requires permanence. So if you are planing to regroup and develop a community, then you will need more supplies. If you plan to become mountain men, then limited supplies and mobility are your requirements.
     
  8. Radar

    Radar Expert Member
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    Why would you use all of your seed, not foreseeing a possible crop failure or pestilence?
    If everyone was working so hard on the garden, where were the efforts in this day and age to keep grasshoppers away? Netting? Hand picking the buggers? Any bug spray of any kind? Even something organic?

    The people did not always stay in one area, some migrated with the seasons.
    Can you imagine going through seven years of plenty and seven years of famine?
    If you have seeds, you can grow and eat sprouts in any season.
    @IBME are you kidding around? You don't know why people put so much effort into storing food? What if eventually you are not able to acquire food and it is not abundant? Stuff happens.
     
  9. Morgan101

    Morgan101 Master Survivalist
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    Curious? How do fruit trees fit into this mix? What about sunflowers?

    I agree with Radar. Isn't treating plants and watching for bugs part of the process of gardening? I would think something could be salvaged. Not by any means criticizing. I haven't planted a garden in a long time, and I never had to rely on it to survive. Just trying to get a handle on how the whole process works.
     
  10. paul m

    paul m Expert Member
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    As the Native American tribes called it , ‘The Starving Time ‘ it was always known as ‘The Hungry Gap’ in the U.K.
     
  11. Caribou

    Caribou Expert Member
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    I would suggest that if you already garden that one year might be adequate but two years would be better to allow for a marginal crop for any reason. If you only keep seeds and a hoe you might want twice that to allow for a learning curve and time to enrich the soil. I've been working on my soil for over three years and have enough for a little better than 4 raised beds. Pharaoh prepped for seven years. How much money and space do you have? What skills do you have or are you willing to develop.

    I knew a gal that was prepped for 25 family members for five years. I expect that her kids have had more kids and that she is working her preps to this day. I haven't heard from her in years. How much is enough? For me, just a little bit more. Prepping is not a goal it is a journey. What can I do to improve my situation. I come here, and to other places, to learn, to teach, and mostly to keep my energy up.
     
  12. Morgan101

    Morgan101 Master Survivalist
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    Very good approach. I very much agree. I don't think of prepping as a goal. I think of it as a lifestyle; something I will always do. To me it is practical. Why would you not want to be prepared for anything life can throw at you?
     
  13. coffee

    coffee Expert Member
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    Elkhound, may I please suggest you buy Heirloom seeds. With these you can dry out your seeds and use them to plant the next season, and do the same year after year. I am almost positive that southernstates seeds are not heirloom. It has to say it on the package to be heirloom and or organic. And a good way to prolong the life of your extra seeds is to put them in a mason jar and place them in the freezer, they keep extra, extra long time. Seeds are fairly cheap, you should have them everywhere. I keep all different vegs, fruits, herbs, grains, and anything I can find that is possibly food, even editable flowers. And save your root crops in the garden ground, and some in a root cellar, or, old broken freezer/refrig. buried in the ground, etc. anywhere cool/cold and eat off of and use others for seed cuttings to plant for next crops. Also grow sunflower seeds and peanuts. Think anything that will feed you. I even have a stash of sprouting seeds and trays to use for quick greens, etc. when all else fails. Also consider getting grow lights so you can grow food in your home if the streets are full of gangs, etc. Do not forget to buy seeds for food for livestock animals.
     
  14. coffee

    coffee Expert Member
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    Elkhound, And lots of medicinal herbs seeds. Learn to make your own medicine. To make tintures all you need is dried or fresh medicinal herbs, liquor, and jars to process, then place in amber jars with eye dropers.
     
  15. TMT Tactical

    TMT Tactical The Great Lizard !
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    Question. Can seeds be stored in the empty medical prescription plastic pill bottles? I tend to get a ton of these and would like to find secondary ways to reuse them.
     
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  16. TexDanm

    TexDanm Shadow Dancer
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    Actually when you are talking about survival people have done really well on the plains, swamps, seaside and just in forest clearings. You are right, building empires take a lot of work. Civilization is a massively labor intensive vice that is mostly done for the benefit of the few by taxing the many as closely as possible into poverty.

    Even in the modern world, you would be amazed at how little a person can get by on. Homeless people in the cities do quite well with almost no income. In the 80s I was unemployed for almost a year and learned a lot of ways to stretch a dollar. Actually, if you chose to live about as all people did in the 50s and 60s it doesn't take a lot. I know about that too because I did it. 1 TV, 1 telephone, 1 car, cooked and ate at home, minimized use of power and other utilities, Church was our primary social activity... you get the gist. This was done so that my wife could easily stay home with our new baby daughter and be a Mom.

    There are lots of ways to survive. Nearly all the "work" that people do today goes to pay the many many layers of taxes. The rest is mostly spent on toys and geegaws that they don't really need and only the smallest part goes to actually feeding and providing basic shelter.

    The stories of the Mountain men are basically just that...stories. They weren't hermits. Most of them lived with Native American tribes and had "wives" all over the place. The adventures of the "Mountain Men" and "Gun Fighters" in the "Wild West" were mostly the result of pulp fiction sold to people in the Urban East part of the country.
     
  17. coffee

    coffee Expert Member
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    Yes, and great idea, just wash and dry completely. Pill bottles are usually amber colored, just tape on label with type of seed and date you stored them. They should be dried completely first. Medicine bottles also have very good lids...press down then turn. Great question TMT Tactical
     
  18. TMT Tactical

    TMT Tactical The Great Lizard !
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    @coffee
    Thanks for the reply. My medication comes in all types of sizes and colors, so I now have a solid use for them. Super tall bottles for the big seed and smaller for the tiny seeds.

    Next question: If stored in freezer, in these bottles, what can I expect for the viability of these seeds? How long after storing should I plan to either plant or throw away?
     
  19. TexDanm

    TexDanm Shadow Dancer
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    I use those pill bottles for all kinds of things. the larger are especially useful. I screw the lids onto the underside of shelves in my shops to store the many small things that seem to accumulate. Use two screws on the lid so when you push and turn the lid doesn't turn. The small ones make good waterproof storage for small items in your go bags. The large longer ones make great fishing kits. Inside you store lures, hook, sinkers, snap swivels and little bobbers. You wrap the outside with fishing line and can cast it like a spinning real. The real small ones make good spice containers. When you are roughing it spices let you turn something that will stave off starvation into fine cuisine. I have bags of bottles and it seems that I am always reaching for one. I especially like the new ones that have the childproof lids that you push and turn but you can also flip the lid over and have a regular screw on lid. This lets me put two bottles together. One of my fishing kits has 10 lb mono on one bottle and then 65 lb spider wire braided line on the other end.
     
  20. coffee

    coffee Expert Member
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    TNT Tactical
    I have some in several freezers that have been there for close to 10 years. I have read and heard that they will last for a very long time but i have not taken mine out and used any, BUT, I would never throw them away. Just try starting some in small disposable throw away plastic whatevers, you never know. And you could use them for bartering with.
     
  21. coffee

    coffee Expert Member
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    I am glad you ask also. I have a hugh collection of medicine and vitamin empties, and I knew I needed, just didn't know what for. Thank you.
     
  22. Sourdough

    Sourdough "ALASKAN"
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    NOT.......kidding.
    There are many places with abundant "FREE" food, no work involved.

    However there is a few small issues.........no shopping malls, no TV'thingie reception, No massive thick swarms of humans the thing humans need more the food or water, is to be in a massive sea of other humans.

    But yes, there are places with abundant "FREE" food, that will never run out.
     
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  23. elkhound

    elkhound Expert Member
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    how to address this...hmmm...here goes. i am well versed in ranching,gardening and homesteading. been at it a pretty long time...part of the over 50 crowd...lol even had a semester of plant breeding in agriculture school. but i grew up seed saving standing beside my grandfather on family ranch/farm.

    now for the seed part...most of all the garden seed southern states offers in heirloom...not all but most.its just not labeled. do i buy all my seed from them no. i save lots of seed and i buy from various companies as i try new items to me i find of interest and to test for my uses. but anyway a seed does not have to be labeled heirloom if it is...i have never seen a hybrid not labeled as such either on front of back with designation F1 or F2 etc. i have never seen an organic seed label on their seed and to use said label has strict govt regulations.


    have you ever heard the term 'stable hybrid'? thats what heirlooms are.they are hybrids that are stable and reproduce true to themselves.their are many in not all. case in point. southern states sells rutger tomato seed.its a famous 'heirloom' well it was a hybrid developed by rutger university for campbells soup.it was tomato that made their tomato soup famous.

    every heard of the old mortgage lifter tomato? its a stable hybrid...read..
    85 days. Solanum lycopersicum. Open Pollinated. Plant produces heavy yields of 1 to 2 lb pink beefsteak tomatoes. They are very sweet, meaty, juicy, and flavorful. It has the rich tomato flavor. Perfect for salads, slicing, and sandwiches. This variety was developed in the 1930's by Mr. Byles of Logan, WV to help pay off his home mortgage. He was able to pay off his $6,000 mortgage in 6 years by selling the plants for $1 a piece. He crossed a German Johnson, a Beefsteak, and an Italian & English variety to come up with this unique variety. Excellent choice for home gardens. A family heirloom variety from Logan, West Virginia, USA. United States Department of Agriculture, PI 647467. Disease Resistant: V, F, N. Indeterminate.

    i do alot of plant propagation from the garden to the forest. i am currently expanding and if all goes well i might be a dangerous gardener if i get a greenhouse built and a hoop house as well. its on the list.theres a few folks on here that seen my 'doings' for a very long time.

    root cellar...i agree..its part of a complete working system that will help a person not go through the spring time starvation if its stocked with proper items from fall harvest.also canning jars...they fill the gaps when nothing but snowballs and icicles are in the garden,fields and forest as well as spring time.
     
  24. elkhound

    elkhound Expert Member
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    they can be stored in a multitude of places. i still find seed my grandfather saved.he filled old glass jars of folgers coffee...lol...some seed last longer than others. a freezer is a good place. when i was in ag school in early 80's i was given tomato seed by a friend who was gifted seeds from an old lady.she said they were no longer available.they been in freezer since 80 or 81. a few years ago i decided to grow them out. about all the seed i planted sprouted.over 30plus years in freezer.they were almost a white tomato with zero acid. only place i ever seen anything close is bakers creek seed in their white tomato section.
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2019
  25. elkhound

    elkhound Expert Member
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    0001-18.JPG

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    garlic
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    kennebec taters
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    9-1-14005_zps472ee4b4.JPG

    fingerling taters
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    orchard doings
    1958_zpsb4c4cbee.JPG
     
  26. elkhound

    elkhound Expert Member
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    simple grain production without a grain drill. broadcast by hand. grain is milo..which is grain sorghum.

    9-17-10051.jpg

    9-17-10054.jpg

    9-17-10056.jpg
     
  27. elkhound

    elkhound Expert Member
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    you need rice and taters to go with moose,caribou and salmon....lol

    store it,grow it and harvest it says i !!...from all sources.
     
  28. Morgan101

    Morgan101 Master Survivalist
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    You guys have all forgotten more about seeds than I will ever know. I will say this about freezing. There is a place called Svalbard Global Seed Vault. It is in Where God Left His Snowshoes, Norway; 1300 clicks from the North Pole. If they can keep them there your freezer should be fine.

    TMT: I would do a little more with the closure on your prescription bottles if you are using them for long term storage. I put electrical tape around the closure to give a better seal. It also makes them a little more water resistant. We get several sizes as well. My favorite use is making fire kits. A mini Bic lighter; some strike anywhere matches; waterproof matches; a birthday candle; striker plate; stuff it tight with dryer lint or a cotton ball. Seal the lid with electrical tape, and it will float and stay dry. Fits in your pocket and doesn't weigh a thing. if you use one of the larger ones you could include a magnesium fire starter and ferro rod.
     
  29. coffee

    coffee Expert Member
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    Elkhound, Boy does my foot taste yucky. Sorry, I stand corrected. You are a pro and absolutely do know your stuff. You just taught me something...Rutger tomatoes...I did not know that...but I love tomato soup, so I am going to find me some Rutger tomato seeds and plant them. Thank you and again I'm sorry that I mis-took you for a newbe about seed saving.
     
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  30. Radar

    Radar Expert Member
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    ...about re-using plastic medicine bottles to store seeds in...
    I bought shelled walnuts on sale, they were past their expiration date. I bought 8 containers, $1-$3 ea, forget the price, which is less than half the original price. Anyway, I opened them up and started munching (I love walnuts) and they tasted like the plastic! The container label listed the walnuts as "organic" yet here they were in containers that were most likely "off-gassing" the plastic. BLEH.
    So with seeds, I guess it'd be okay to store them in plastic prescription bottles if you plan to plant them in the ground; but I'm not sure how sprouts would taste after the seeds have been in the bottle for a year.
    If I could, my storage containers would be glass, metal or wood, not plastic; but mostly they are plastic.
     
  31. elkhound

    elkhound Expert Member
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    dont lick ya toes...lol...i am not a pro..just a well versed amateur...i have many failures as i tend to experiment a lot with styles of gardening and planting schemes.

    i am currently sprouting red flesh apple seeds to produce trees that have red flesh and often taste like fruit punch. one cross should have a taste of pineapple.we all heard of seeds dont produce same apple tree...its true but often it s similar and at times they are better.

    i am gathering old cultivars from the past that are better suited to survival and a working homestead over stuff thats more geared towards industrial ag. case in point...potato onions..these reproduce by dividing in the ground not by blooming/seeds. well they can bloom but its rare..well this year for some reason i have 12 blooms. i cant wait to start those seed as they will be white,yellow and red/purple colored onions from what i been told.when this happens its like a boost in genetics to this cultivar.

    another great item is Egyptian walking onions. yo will never be without green onions if you dedicate a spot for these too.they reproduce via producing 'top sets' and falling over and taking root...you can cut them off and divide and plant as well.i plant mine in rows in august from these tops and often have green onions as tall as 5 gallon bucket in 30-40 days.i have onions going into fall and winter.till cold beats them down.they reappear in spring as soon as weather says they can.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2019
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  32. elkhound

    elkhound Expert Member
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    @LastOutlaw thinking about the grasshoppers...one item i have not tried but want to is guinea fowl. i been told they will patrol a garden catching bugs and leave the garden alone. i know for a fact chickens will root up and peck everything as will turkeys. i have friends that have these birds so eventually i will have them to try. also outside garden you could use chickens and turkeys to eat the hopper.turkeys will catch hoppers by the droves.i have seen wild turkeys spend hours in fields doing so. an old timer friend of mine in his mid 90's always kept a dozen or so hen turkey running lose as well as a couple toms. even without a tom wild gobbler often bred them.so he always had a few young turkey around for the table.

    just a few thoughts and me blah blah blahing away
     
  33. LastOutlaw

    LastOutlaw Master Survivalist
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    We have chickens and can not leave them in the gardens with tomatoes. Last summer they ate all the low hanging cherry tomatoes and I had to wire off the full sized tomatoes so they could not get in them easily. It was funny because they looked like they were making raiding parties on the cherry tomatoes. Grabbing and running. I do not know about the guinies but I have heard this also.
     
  34. GrizzlyetteAdams

    GrizzlyetteAdams Crap Creek Survivor
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    Heh. I could listen to you blah blah blahing away all day and not tire of it. Please don't stop. I have learned lots from you over the years and enjoyed every minute of it.


    .
     
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  35. coffee

    coffee Expert Member
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    Radar, Hey, I buy a lot of seeds from My Patriot Supply. There seeds come in resealable mylar bags. I love them. Use some and seal them back up, save them to reuse over and over. Oh, and right now they have lots of seeds on sale for .97. -1.47. If anybody has not used them before, they are great. Check it out.
     
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  36. Radar

    Radar Expert Member
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    After you use them, before you reuse them, do you wash them, or what? Some seeds or cut herbs and dried foods have a very strong scent.
    Thanks for the tip, coffee!
     
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  37. coffee

    coffee Expert Member
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    Once I use up all the seeds in the original mylar bag, I do wash & dry it completely before I use it to store different seeds. If you are on a budget, I also wash out and reuse my grandson sippy drink containers, like Roaring waters or Kool Aid Coolers. I find them good for a million things, for example when taking a trip, I use them to put dog food (dry) or treats in and use my seal a meal to close them up.
     
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  38. Radar

    Radar Expert Member
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    Nice to meet you, by the way, @coffee

    I'm so stuck in my ways of what I do and do not buy. I'm not familiar with name brand sippy drink containers for kids. Lol
    I've got a long way to go and feel like I'm a total newbie to storing food.
     
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  39. coffee

    coffee Expert Member
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    Radar, It's great to meet you, okay nice to chat with you. Where are you located? I am in Central Virginia, stuck in the middle. As far as being new to storing food....go to you tube and search anything, they have videos on how to do anything you can think of. Me....no one in my family past or present ever canned or dehydrated foods. I taught myself every thing I know, by reading magazines and videos on you tube. Now I dehydrate tons of things and I can everything...vegs, meats, bacon, butter, nuts, fruits, jams & jellys, I have even canned cakes. And as for dehydrating....I have done powdered eggs, scrambled eggs, mixed vegs, complete soup mixes with meats, vegs and seasonings, beef stews, any thing you can think of you can preserve, well almost any thing. Feel free to ask anything.
     
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  40. Weedygarden

    Weedygarden Well-Known Member
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    I so agree with you about one year of stored food may not be enough. When the LDS first started food storage, the guideline was 7 years of wheat, based on the bible. We really do not know what will happen. In history, there was a volcano that erupted around 1816, 1817 or so, and there wasn't summer that year because of all the volcano smoke in the air. Another time, around 1770, many people starved to death due to similar happenings.

    There are garden and crop failures due to heat, hail, drought, snow storms, insects, flooding and probably more. If a garden fails, then other plants may fail that you forage each year. Some years, tomatoes will do very well, and another year, everyone struggles to have any tomatoes. The most reliable things to grow are root vegetables--potatoes, carrots, onions, garlic, turnips, rutabagas. I planted a few potatoes one year, kind of as an experiment, and I was really surprised at how many potatoes I got from my garden. I have planted carrots many times and only once had a bumper crop of carrots. So many other years I had almost nothing. Another thing is to try a variety of vegetables. If we only plant potatoes and a blight comes through, we could be in trouble.
     
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